Kashmir records lowest footfall in seven years

Kashmir has reportedly witnessed the lowest ever tourist footfall in the last seven years, recording only 8.5 lakh domestic and foreign tourists visiting the valley in total in 2018. The record shows a decline of about 23 per cent from 2017, which saw around 11 lakh tourists visitors to Kashmir. The recent parliamentary panel report has blamed the GST implementation for ‘negative impact’ on tourism sector in Kashmir.

“The decline in the number of tourists to Kashmir is because of the uncertainty projected by electronic media around the country. The smallest of incidents in the remotest part of the state is being highlighted in the media, which is not even close to the tourist sites in the valley. This works against the tourism in the state,”  said Zahoor Qari, Chairman—TAAI, J&K Chapter.

In 2012, 13,08,765 tourists including both domestic and foreign visited Kashmir, and the number has gone down to a mere 8.5 lakh in 2018, which means a decline of over 4.5 lakh tourists registering a 35 per cent dip in tourist arrivals in 6 years.

In 2013, the number of tourists including both domestic/foreign who visited Kashmir was 11.71 lakh while in 2014, during the floods, the number of tourists was 11.67 lakh. In 2015, 9.27 lakh tourists visited the place whereas in 2016 the number of tourists was 12.12 lakh.